The definition of Bagna Cauda is a mouthwatering dip made from garlic, anchovies, butter, and olive oil usually served warm with raw vegetables. Essentially it means a "hot bath" and is pungent & salty - just like I like it!
This old Italian dish dating back from the 16th century surely has many a stories to tell! After all, its been around for a LONG time! I like to serve mine with peeled carrots, radishes, cauliflower florets, beets, radicchio, and endive (from GP's book It's All Easy). It's a staple dish I serve during a cocktail or dinner party and it's super delicious with french bread. It's SO stunning, that you should bring it to the next dinner party you're invited to.
The unique spice in this dish is the Cyprus sea salt that can be purchased from oldsaltmerchants
1. Assorted vegetables such as endive, sugar snap peas, haricots verts, cauliflower florets, baby carrots, radicchio cut into ribbons, radishes, brussel sprouts, baby golden and scarlet beets)
2. 2-3 unpeeled large garlic cloves finely grated or minced
3. 4 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4. 6-8 anchovy fillets, oil drained, anchovies chopped (I use spicy anchovies, the brand is Acciughette Piccanti)
5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil
6. 3 tbs of red wine vinegar
7. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
8. small pinch of Cyprus salt flakes (order here)
How to Make It
To make, separate the endive leaves, and thinly slice the cauliflower, carrots, beets, radishes. Cut in half the sugar snap peas, haricot verts and separate the brussel sprouts into individual leaves. Arrange the vegetables on a platter and add a pitch of salt to all the vegetables.
Combine the anchovies, butter, olive oil and garlic is a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Cook until the anchovies have melted into the sauce and the garlic smells fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice plus the vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Either pour it over the vegetables and serve OR you can also serve on the side as a dipping sauce with your vegetables and some delicious french bread.